NaNo Prep: Week Three

You open your eyes as a cold shock overtakes you. It’s the third week of October and NaNo is closer than ever. Emotion blooms in your stomach–is it excitement or is it dread? You’re not sure there’s a difference anymore. You’ve done some planning, but not as much as you’d intended. You’re not ready and still November looms ever closer…

NaNo is a great and terrible thing for many writers. The flurry and devotion to creativity is a heady and short-lived rush. Condensing the novel-writing experience to one month also hyper-saturates the emotional experience. And it’s harder to find guides to help you through that part! Hopefully, this worksheet will bring some balance to your NaNo journey.

For me, it’s a lot easier to fixate on parts of my writing that I’m not happy with, rather than what’s working well. And there’s lots of psychological reasons for that, but it’s also part of the zeitgeist of authorhood. There is a miasma around the idea of being a writer–you have to suffer for your craft; being a wordsmith means agonizing for hours and only producing a single paragraph; cut deep and bleed all over your writing tools.

And if that process works for you, I’m not here to yuck your yum. I’m just here to provide an alternative:

Writing can be fun!

Slanderous, I know. I’m not going to convince you that it’s always fun, because my Deception skill isn’t that high. But parts of it are fun. And this worksheet acts as a guide to notice what’s working well and what makes you happy.

Look at you being a dandy writer! You’ve earned these feathers in your cap!

Keep this worksheet nearby throughout your writing project. Feeling ambitious? Use it for each chapter! It’s important to me to remember the bits of my actual writing that are good and fun. When those moments of brilliance and glory arise, take note! Space is reserved to notice ideas you like, snappy dialogue and descriptions, times you get back up on that horse and when your wordcraft is on point. It’s as important to learn from your successes as it is to learn from your failure.

As with any big endeavor, there will be ups and downs. I’m so proud of you for trying! Next week….let’s go shopping!

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